vaccines

Mike Sherry / Heartland Health Monitor

Discussions about the dangers of the human papillomavirus (HPV) tend to focus on the risks it poses for cervical cancer.

But as physicians and one local survivor emphasized in a discussion after the screening of a documentary shown Wednesday in Kansas City, HPV is not only a danger to women.

“It is under-recognized as a disease of males,” said Dr. Terance Tsue, a head and neck surgeon and physician-in-chief at the University of Kansas Cancer Center.

Mike Sherry / Heartland Health Monitor

If all it took were a few shots to virtually eliminate the chances of contracting one type of cancer, you’d think at-risk people would be lining up for treatment in droves.

There is, in fact, a three-dose regimen that experts say essentially prevents cervical cancer, which is newly diagnosed in more than 12,000 American women a year and kills about 4,000.

Bridget Colla / Flickr

Medical and scientific communities have been working hard to reassure parents that vaccinating children is safe, especially in light of current Measles incidents in the United States. But there is something about immunization that triggers fear in a lot of people, even people who do opt in. What is that fear about? How do human beings perceive and weigh different kinds of risks on behalf of their children? 

Guests:

  Vaccination is just one of many medical choices made for children. On this edition of Up To Date, Steve Kraske and guests talk about who gets to weigh in on those decisions: the parents, the doctors, the government?  And what input do children have regarding their own health care?

Guests:

Steven Depolo / Flickr--CC

With measles making a comeback in the United States after it was thought to have been eradicated 15 years ago, a new analysis finds that fewer than 90 percent of preschoolers nationwide have received the recommended vaccination against measles, mumps and rubella.

Both Kansas and Missouri fell below the 90 percent threshold for preschooler vaccinations, the baseline goal set by Healthy People 2020, a federal interagency task force.

Steven Depolo / Flickr-CC

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warn that this season’s flu shots may not be as effective as last year’s due to a mutation of the H3N2 flu virus.

The H3N2 flu strain has "drifted" as doctors say, into a new subtype. So this season’s vaccinations will only be about 48 percent effective at preventing people from catching the H3N2 flu strain, according to the CDC.

The percentage of Kansas students entering kindergarten in 2012 who had been immunized on the medically recommended schedule tumbled to 61 percent from about 72 percent the previous year.

Andy Marso / KHI News Service

 

Even as local health officials prepare for the unlikely event of an Ebola outbreak in Kansas, some have had their hands full trying to convince people in their communities to take basic measures to contain the spread of more prevalent, contagious and preventable diseases like measles and pertussis.

Kansas has seen spikes in both illnesses this year, leading some health officials to issue orders of quarantine and others to ask people to voluntarily stay home.

Those requests were not always well-received.

Kansas state health officials confirmed two cases of measles in Johnson County Friday. The cases may be linked to four others on the Missouri side of Kansas City.

Kansas Department of Health and Environment spokeswoman Aimee Rosenow says everyone at risk of exposure is being contacted, and the investigation into the two Johnson County cases is ongoing.

One of the patients is an unvaccinated child, the other is an adult. 

"We're not certain of the vaccination status of the adult, but they are connected," she says.

Carol E. Davis, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers / Flickr-CC

A small outbreak of measles stemming from a Clay County family has some area doctors worried that more may catch the illness. After traveling abroad to the Pacific Rim, an infant who wasn't immunized to the disease was diagnosed and spread it to two family members last week.

In the first segment of Tuesday's Up to Date, Steve Kraske sits down with a panel of experts to discuss the recent measles cases and the cultural struggles surrounding immunization in the United States.

Guests:

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Health officials in Kansas City, Mo. are bracing for the annual back-to-school “rush” of parents and children coming in for needed immunizations before school begins.

Kansas City, MO – Kansas City, Missouri is getting an infusion of free flu vaccines this winter - 20,000 to be exact. And, they're being directed towards people who may be less likely to get the shot.

Walgreens recently donated the shots to help reduce vaccine disparities.

Captain Jose Belardo is Acting Regional Health Administrator with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services - he's overseeing the initiative.

Flu Vaccine Now Available...Everywhere

Sep 7, 2010

Kansas City, MO – Kansas City's flu vaccine clinic opens today. This time last year, health officials were prioritizing shots for people based on certain health and age criteria. They were also grappling with a shortage of the H1N1 vaccine.

School Nurses Step Up Meningitis Vaccine Efforts

Jul 20, 2010

Kansas City, MO – School nurses throughout the region are pushing for teens and pre-teens to get vaccinated for meningitis this summer.

Meningitis is a bacterial or viral disease that inflames the membranes around the brain and spinal chord. It can lead to cognitive problems and the loss of limbs, and is fatal about ten percent of the time.